What a Mess

I thought last week was bad enough in and of itself. I knew this would be one of the most hectic weeks on record, but I was not prepared for this madness.

My plan for the day was to go in to work later than normal, after visiting my hospice patient. After our first meeting, I had went to the nursing home two additional times…. and yet had only met with my patient the first time. Long story. So I was using this particular morning to gain some quality time with my patient.

Emotionally drained is a good descriptive phrase of how I felt when I left. To see so many people in need of long-term care (and few if any, visitors), made my heart ache. And, it was here that I was also hit with yet another revelation that I’d rather be in a health care setting than a biomedical lab all day. I’ve known this for a very, very long time, but it seems I am constantly reminded my that current employment is only temporary, for the sake of my own sanity. Being in solitary confinement with temperamental cells is not my dream career; far from it. It is my intention not to stay a day longer than is absolutely necessary, before I begin the next, hopefully better, part of my journey.

So as I left the facility, my mind was preoccupied with what my next moves should be.

Driving downtown, just minutes from work, I followed the same route I take every single day. At one of the last lights, I had the green light and the crosswalk sign was clearly flashing DO NOT WALK. As I went to turn, I came mere inches away from hitting a female cyclist on her bike who was choosing to ignore the crosswalk sign. Thankfully, I stopped in time…. in time to see her give me a hateful look, flip me off, and continue on her way, DO NOT WALK still flashing on the sign.

Needless to say, that was the worst case of tachycardia I’ve experienced in quite a long time. I was shaken. I have never in my life come that close to hitting someone, let alone a cyclist. Before I was even in my parking lot I just wanted to go home and crawl back into bed. However, this was not to be.

Oh how I would have loved to have taken a sick day. It would have been marvelous. I can’t wait until they hire another tech for my lab. An extra set of hands would be wonderful.

For reasons I won’t go into here, work was hectic yesterday. I’m used to a certain level of that, but yesterday was an extreme anomaly. The stress knot in my back that I acquired last week was not dissipated over the short weekend, and is not larger and more painful. This is going to be a great week…

For reasons outside of my control, my last experiment concluded just after 7pm. I had planned on staying after work to go to open lab from 6-8pm, in preparation for our last round of exams on Sunday before the end of the semester. Guess I wasn’t going to make it to open lab after all. I just wanted to go home.

It had been storming most of the day. I hadn’t had much time to even consider the weather, being so slammed in the lab.

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass, but instead, learning to dance in the rain.” ~Vivian Greene

Well, I sure wasn’t dancing.

With traffic, the mile between my building and my parking lot usually takes 10 minutes at most. As I left the building, there was just a light drizzle and there was sunlight. A little rain never hurt anyone, right?

In my haste in the morning, coupled with being too preoccupied with other things, I had neglected to grab an umbrella or even a hoodie to prepare for the rain. Oh well, just my luck.

The rain didn’t seem too bad at first. About half way to the car, as I was silently praying in my mind about what my next steps should be, I thought the words please give me a sign.

At that exact moment…. Downpour. Quite literally. The drops were so big and hitting so hard that I thought maybe there might be hail mixed in the rain. And it was relentless. In seconds I was absolutely soaked to the bone, so much water in my eyes that I could barely see where to walk. I just had to laugh. I just had to ask for a sign in the middle of a storm, didn’t I?

But it wasn’t over yet.

My parking lot was flooded; my parking lot is also all gravel. I was a muddy mess by the time I walked out to the car (I got the very last place along my usual row since I arrived at work later than usual. Go figure.) I was soaked through my jacket and my shirt; my jeans were waterlogged; my shoes and socks were flooded. I was one big, squishy mess.

I took the second route home, the route on higher ground. As I’m contemplating what exactly this “sign” means, it became clear that driving was not the safest option, as the surface streets were flooding, and this flooding was not stopping drivers from going through deep water at high speeds. Downtown was a mess. As I was waiting on my light to change, I saw a homeless man on the corner, with yet another “Homeless, Hungry, Anything Helps” sign. This poor man was standing in the rain, holding what looked to be an umbrella someone had given him, and he had no shoes. At this point, I was an emotional mess thanks to the day’s events. Thankfully, I still had a Blessings Bag in the car, and gave it to him before proceeding to the interstate.

The day’s theme, it seemed, was mess.

The interstate was no better than the surface streets. Drivers were still going far too fast in areas where there was flooding; so fast, actually, that walls of water were being flung from one side of the interstate to the other, hitting oncoming traffic. It was an absolute mess.

But as I was nearing my exit for home, I saw one of the most beautiful rainbows I’ve ever seen in my life. The colors were electric, and the thing was huge. Not only that, but the interstate went right under it, dead center.

Ah, ok.

Loud and clear, God.

Today’s lesson: you must endure the storm to get to joys on the other side.

Doesn’t He work perfectly? From answering my silent prayer almost immediately, to the lag time before the punchline. God must be a comedian. Among other things, of course.

When I did arrive home, after 8pm, a soaked, dripping, cold mess… I found my Anatomy book and notes soaked through my backpack. Wonderful.

I just had to laugh.

We could never learn to be brave or patient

if there were only joys in the world.

~Helen Keller


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